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Replacing two wire switch with three wire version

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  • Replacing two wire switch with three wire version

    (Repost from my build thread, we got derailed with dog pics)

    Just got off the phone with Bob, the inventor of the Ultra bilge switches. Super friendly and kind, he tried helping me as best as he could but I think I asked the wrong questions

    Tried replacing the two broken electric field switches and ended up scratching my head with the shower sump pump.

    It was wired to be on auto all the time and had two leads coming in. What I can’t wrap my head around is how I could use the Ultra in the same way without pulling new wires to the pump, which is far, far away from the switch.

    Maybe doing a three way splice with the red auto wire and one of the brown switch wires would do it? Or just not use the brown wires at all, I tried this quickly without any luck yesterday.

    So in short: can a three way switch be wired to be on auto all the time using the two leads I have from my Whale automatic field sensor switch?
    Finnish 30ft fishing boat overhaul

  • #2
    I kind of figured out that it’s not. Now I’ll just need to find out how to do the rewire most efficiently.

    As of now I think I’ll need to connect the pump red to the fused battery positive from the old switch. And then attach the tan lead to the wire that goes to the pump. Additionally I’ll need to run a new neg wire and splice it into the pumps ground. I wonder if I’m even close now.
    Last edited by Red Herring; December 29th, 2018, 01:29 AM.
    Finnish 30ft fishing boat overhaul

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    • #3
      The ultra bilge switch wiring diagram is terrible. The guy might know how to make a switch but has no idea how to make a wiring diagram.

      With limited info on the website I'll say the switch works like any other switch to make connections to the pump, the difference is in how the switch works. A regular mechanical switch just needs to move, but this switch needs to have power to operate.

      The Brown (+) and Black (-) wires should be spliced together inside the switch, The Red (fused Battery Power) wires are not clear on connections. One needs to be fused Bat power to run the switch and pump. The other Red should only be powered up when the switch moves full up (high water) and then turns on alarm

      The connection to the pump needs a Brown and Black wire coming from the switch.

      The Manual/Auto switch needs a Brown, Black and Red coming from the switch.

      If an alarm is used then a Red and Black wire is connected from the switch

      This is what Ultra has

      Click image for larger version

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      This is how the typical pump works with high water alarm

      Click image for larger version

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      This is my rendition of how the Ultra Switch works
      If it is correct, then only the Red for the high water alarm is not connected together inside. Which also means if the others are as shown, then only one each Black and Brown actually need to be used so long as they are connected together outside of the switch. If you contact Ultra again, ask them to have a look here

      Click image for larger version

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      94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
      95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
      07 Seadoo GTX
      Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
      G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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      • #4
        Thanks a bunch! This clarifies some things far beyond what I thought I knew. But I’m still in the dark how I’d wire the Ultra to be on all the time on auto-mode without a dash switch?

        The Ultras did come with an updated wiring instruction, it just doesn’t help me in this ”non-standard” situation. I can check if your assumption was correct tomorrow evening(gmt +2).
        Finnish 30ft fishing boat overhaul

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        • #5
          The one you removed provided power to the float switch (via fuse) and then to the pump. The switch at the helm bypassed the float switch and went direct to the pump.

          Your current helm switch should have power going to it. On the other leg of the switch it will go to the the old pump. This wire should go to the new switch for the automatic mode (Red wire connect). You will need one additional wire to go from the helm switch to the ultra switch for manual mode (Brown wire connect)

          Also an update pic because I left the ground wire off the pump

          Click image for larger version

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          94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
          95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
          07 Seadoo GTX
          Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
          G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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          • #6
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            Thanks for the help! Got both installed today. After understanding the basics thanks to you the supplied wiring instructions made sense. Had to add that one black as you mentioned.
            Finnish 30ft fishing boat overhaul

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